The St. Louis Cardinals have clinched the NL Central and with great certainty, will be the No. 3 seed in the postseason. With the revamped MLB playoffs, St. Louis will be playing the No. 6 seed, otherwise, the worst team from the Wild Card.
Over in the NL East, the New York Mets or Atlanta Braves will be the first place team in the Wild Card, so there are realistically three teams the Cardinals could battle. As of Thursday afternoon, the San Diego Padres hold the second Wild Card spot, the Philadelphia Phillies hold the third spot, and the Milwaukee Brewers are closely trailing them.
San Diego Padres
A month ago, there were questions as if the San Diego Padres would even make the playoffs at all. Going 8-2 in their last 10 outings, they have finally figured things out.
On paper, this is a scary team for the Cardinals to face. An offense that is heating up and a very good pitching staff is something that will be scary in the best-of-three series. Let’s hope the Padres stay hot, and we do not have to play them. They hold a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies for the third spot with eight games remaining.
The Padres just took two out of three games against us and held us to five runs in the series. It also does not hurt to mention the last time we met in the playoffs, it went the way of the team from the West coast. Please keep winning, San Diego.
Things are quickly going awry in Philadelphia, as the Phillies are 3-7 in their last 10 games. They might mess around and miss the postseason.
Philadelphia is known for their offense. They have Kyle Schwarber, who smashes baseballs for a living, and a guy you may have heard of, Bryce Harber. The Phillies have a top-five offense in the NL, but their pitching holds question marks.
With the 27th-worst ERA in baseball during September, the Phillies are an enticing team go up against. If the season ended today, they would be the team we face. Philadelphia holds a 4-3 advantage in the season series, but I think the Cardinals would love to challenge this struggling rotation on the mound.
Everybody knows about the Tweet that may have haunted the Brewers’ season. They boasted their division lead, so the Cardinals went on an insane run and took it from them. With the season winding down, they are in jeopardy of watching their divisional foes play deep in October.
There is one stat that should be acknowledged here; The Brewers are 31-32 against teams over .500 on the season. That record is much better than the Padres, Phillies, and even the Cardinals. St. Louis has won 10 of the 18 matchups this season against Milwaukee, but the Brewers play well against the best of the best.
Milwaukee has a great rotation that allows few runs and has the third most strikeouts in baseball. Their offense has been around the middle of the pack all year long.
The Brewers are a team that truly does not deserve a Wild Card spot, but if they make it in, they can do some damage. At the end of the day, our dream matchup would be against the Phillies. They look terrible as of late, and we should clobber their struggling pitching.